Leslie Hatfield serves as senior editor of GRACE's Ecocentric blog. Leslie has also contributed to Alternet, The Huffington Post, Edible Chesapeake and The Ethicurean, and served as lead author of the publication Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement. Originally from Washington State, Leslie earned her BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and an MA in Public Communication from American University in Washington, DC. She lives in Brooklyn with her dog, Belle.
The San Francisco Gate called the book "politically brave" and it truly is. Foodopoly is a compelling read and a rock-solid resource for anyone trying to figure out how we went from a nation of healthy farmers to the fast food nation we currently live in, and how we might be able - with hard work - to get home again.
All of us at Ecocentric are reflecting on the New Year and making our resolutions to make 2013 happy, healthy and sustainable. If you are similarly inclined, we have tons of resources here on the blog and at our new GRACE website. To get you started, here are some tips to help you have a lean, green 2013.
2012 was a difficult year for many people, and ends on a particularly somber note following the recent shooting in Connecticut. Here in New York, many are still without power after Superstorm Sandy wrought such tremendous devastation on the Mid-Atlantic. Perhaps more than ever, we are eager, not only to bid adieu to the worst of 2012, but to set our intentions for a brighter 2013.
The flapping of a butterfly’s wings may or may not have the capacity to trigger a tornado on another continent, but without a doubt, our food, water and energy systems have profound impacts upon each other (and us, and our planet). With that in mind, we're excited to introduce our new GRACE website.
Giving the perfect gift can be difficult, even more so if you're looking for something that’s good for your recipient, your community and our planet. To help you out, here are some ideas for greener gifts sure to please everyone on your list!
On November 17, Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History opened its newest exhibit, Our Global Kitchen. The exhibition leads museum visitors on a meandering path from farm to fork, with a stop in the middle for fresh-pressed cider made from real New York apples.
A landmark trial opens today in Baltimore’s Federal District Court, where Waterkeeper Alliance has filed suit against Perdue Farms, and a pair of the company’s farmer contractors, Alan and Kristin Hudson, for polluting the Chesapeake Bay with chicken manure.
In October, after years of pressure from conscientious eaters, Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill signed an agreement to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program. The company, which prides itself on "food with integrity," has made a giant step toward real sustainability.
Given the lack of respect with which most Americans treat cranberries, their environmental impact hardly seems worth it. But if we consider the hard work that goes into a product like Starvation Alley’s, maybe cranberries can recapture the wonder and respect a traditional dish deserves.
For Earth Day, the Ecocentric team examines two ways children are involved in the environmental movement: corporate greenwashing aimed at kids, from fun-shaped water bottles to a coloring book featuring a fracking-themed dinosaur, and green media produced by kids themselves.
First, the USDA issued an internal newsletter that contained an endorsement for Meatless Mondays, then -- after scathing reactions from the beef industry, issued a rapid retraction. Is the agency too easily influenced by the industry?
There is an old saying with many variations, the gist of which is, "Making laws and making sausages are both disgusting processes." The quote is often attributed to Otto Von Bismark but according to Yaleâ€s Fred Shapiro, it was actually lawyer-poet John Godfrey Saxe who said "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made." In any case, jokes about the nastiness of hot dog production date back to the 1800â€s.
Estimates vary, but Americans put back at least several billion burgers each year (a quick internet search shows 13 and 14 billion as the most common approximations). Patty contents vary; Burger King offers a veggie burger these days, and fancier burger joints like NYC's Bareburger offer exotic meats like elk, ostrich and bison. But the majority are still made from ground beef, a product that has taken a major beating in the press this year with massive consumer outcry over "lean finely processed beef" (more widely known as "pink slime") that led to the recent shutdown of three plants that produced the questionable product. Will the ick factor kill Americans' burger fetish? Not likely.
The thing I remember most about the first time I tried asparagus is dipping it in mayonnaise. I was about seven and also vaguely recall grilled steak and a 1980's-era version of my dad, but the mayonnaise I remember clearly. (Best Foods. I grew up in Washington State and wouldn't hear of Hellman's for another 20 years.) Even as a child, I liked vegetables, but I really liked condiments. I still enjoy a good sauce, but these days I appreciate asparagus as most people do, for what it symbolizes: the beginning of the growing season.
In January 2012, Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald heard the first arguments in OSGATA et al. versus Monsanto. Hundreds gathered across the street in support of the farmers -- check out the video we shot of the assembly.